The Argument For Utilitarianism And The Virtue Theory

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Each of the theories from the second term of this class have pros and cons. I do not believe any theory is completely perfect, but there is one I felt that is superior. Between the utilitarian, the deontological, and the virtue theory; I believe the virtue theory has the most compelling arguments. The utilitarian and deontological theories have too many flaws they cannot argue against without changes to the theory itself. Aristotle’s virtue theory does not have many weaknesses that will cause it to fall flat. Because of this, the virtue theory remains strong against criticism, including Frankena’s. The strongest argument for utilitarianism would be in Nielsen’s reading. He provides an example of consequences with the fat man and the cave. This was the only selling point for me with utilitarianism. Killing the fat man to save six other innocent people makes sense, because you are saving more people. Obviously, it is not the best decision having to kill anyone, but in these circumstances, one dead versus six is preferable. But in Nielsen’s theory, he does say only consequences are important, which is not true for me. Mill also says in his reading that intentions are not significant, and that we should only look to an actions consequence when deciding what to do. Throughout these theories, I believe it is important to look at the consequences and the intentions equally to discover the goodness of an individual. An important detail in Mill’s reading is that he believes every moral action comes from happiness. It seems to me that morality is more than happiness. Something debated in earlier discussions was the idea that goodness does not always equal happiness. Some goodness does not make the individual happy. Normally, when someone... ... middle of paper ... ...els are more important that moral rules. We should follow other virtuous people in order to know what we need to do to be virtuous ourselves. The criticism of the virtue theory being too general, doesn’t work if you add Mayo’s argument. So, I find that there are not any valid criticisms of the virtue theory like there are with the other theories. This is why I have chosen the theory as the best. The three theories discussed in the second tern of this ethics class all have their own positives and negatives that come with them. However, with the utilitarian and deontological theories, the flaws in the readings were too big to ignore. They just couldn’t be fixed, in my opinion. With the virtue theory, though, the criticisms were few and far between. They were easily solved, as well. Because of this, the virtue theory is superior in my mind when compared to the others.
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